Turkish and Syrian Journalists Unite at Workshop

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Turkish and Syrian journalists met at a recent workshop organized by JWF’s Medialog Platform. The program included presentations and exchanges of ideas, noting that in spite of political divisions between Turkey and Arab countries after the fall of the Ottoman Empire, there was no alienation among the people.

Common projects and sharing are needed for the media to join the rapprochement in the political field.

Workshop participants

The workshop’s participants pointed out that although not even a decade has passed since the establishment of direct relations between Turkey and Syria, current levels of cooperation and brotherhood have reached an unbelievable dimension. It was emphasized that those responsible for the previous rupture were politicians and not the people. Calling for the media to join the rapprochement in the political field, journalists stated that, resolving the language problem, common projects and sharing are needed.

The workshop began with a talk entitled “The Image of Turkey in Syria and its Media,” presented by Halaf Al Muftah, director of the Syrian Al Wahda Press and Publications Society. Muftah indicated that even though not even 10 years have passed since rapprochement was made between the two countries, very rapid advances have been made.

Taking the floor after that, Gurkan Zengin from TV24 stated that the idea that “becoming westernized is bad” has finally begun to abate. Saying that the biggest problem between the two countries is “not knowing one another,” Zengin added, “We are all Muslims. George or John is not sitting across from us.”